Charles-Victor Guilloux

1866 Paris – Lormes 1946

  • Arbre isolé

    Solitary tree

  • Oil on cardboard, ca. 1893

    Stamped signature on the back C. Guilloux

  • Size

    225 x 150 mm

  • Provenance

    The artist’s heirs; Private collection, Paris

A symbolist gem by Charles Guilloux that holds the seductive colours of the artist. Guilloux, discovered by the critic Roger Marx in 1891, achieved his recognition with a very personal artistic vision. As Seurat, he was passionate by the colour’s theories developed by the chemist Michel-Ernest Chevreul. He also learned from neo-impressionist paintings, as well as from the Nabis and impressionist works at the Salons. From 1892, he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, as well as in the avant-garde gallery Le Barc de Boutteville, along with Paul Signac, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the Nabis. While he possessed the chromatic knowledge of Seurat and understood Monet’s research about the visual sensation of the atmosphere, he gathered these influences to create his own aesthetic universe.

Depicting landscapes around Paris and in Brittany, his researches brought him to a radical evolution in 1892. He developed an extreme simplification of landscapes: a succession of coloured surfaces inhabited by various silhouettes standing out in contrast with a bright sky animated by fantastic clouds. At the Salon des Indépendant of 1892, his synthetized landscapes were celebrated by the critics, and eight of his works were sold during the Salon. The present symbolist landscape painted during the same period, also evokes the powerful luminous atmosphere of sunset, in the absence of any human presence. The combination yellow-violet, visible in our work, is often mentioned in his notes, and associated with the word “magnifique” [“splendid”]. Guilloux was obsessed by what he called “les bonne combinaisons d’émotions” [“the fine combination of emotions”], and he used for this a very personal palette of colours. Such peculiar and extraordinary sceneries are to be found only in Guilloux’s oeuvre.

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